Beaumont Health has agreed to pay $84.5 million to settle U.S. Justice Department allegations concerning improper pay arrangements with eight high-earning doctors following complaints in newly unsealed whistle-blower lawsuits.
The settlement resolved allegations that between 2004 and 2012, the hospital system, then based in Royal Oak, overpaid the doctors and provided them with free or below-market office space and other perks so that they would refer more patients to Beaumont.
The behavior may have violated the federal Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, as it affected claims made to Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE programs, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Justice Department.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce patient referrals covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The Stark Law prohibits a hospital from billing Medicare for services referred by doctors with whom the hospital has an improper financial arrangement, such as excessive compensation.